Tips for Maximizing Storage Space

     Chaos is scheming to take over your storage space. Keeping it at bay takes a solid game plan and the right equipment. Follow these tips to stay ahead of disaster.

     1 Protect the items you store. Moisture and pests cause problems in even the cleanest garage. Look for durable storage containers with tight-fitting, critter-resistant lids.

     2 Categorize: Assign and color-code dedicated areas for each type of item — tools, decorations, lawn equipment, etc. — to avoid the hassle of searching.

     3 Keep trash in its place: To keep trash and odors contained, select a mobile trash cart with a tight-fitting lid that’s compatible with your haulers’ pickup requirements and comes with a warranty. Some manufacturers also offer cart and can liners and deodorizers to keep your garage smelling fresh. 

     4 Think mobility: Heavy metal containers are difficult to move, and cheap plastic bins are often too flimsy to stand up to longterm or outdoor use. You’ll get the most mileage from durable, impact-resistant plastic containers. These can cost a bit more up front, but will stand the test of time.

     Choose containers you can have where you need them. For work done only at home, rolling options move best within your storage space.

     If you work elsewhere or carry tools to your boat, a job box may be better. If portability is important, look at lighter-weight options. New plastic job boxes, such as the Toter HardHead, combine the strength, durability and security of a large metal box with maneuverability.

     5 Build up, not out: Ceiling storage racks use what would otherwise be dead space. Some racks are designed to fit directly above the area where an automatic door goes up and down. Peg boards for tools and stackable totes are also good choices.

     6 Choose multipurpose storage: Needs can change over time, so invest in storage that can be used for a variety of items in multiple ways. For example, large, durable totes can hold lawn gear, tools or camping equipment.

     7 Allow room to grow. Avoid the temptation to stuff every square inch. To ensure everything deserves the space it’s occupying, do a yearly purge of unneeded or unused items.